Title: One of the Guys
Author: Lisa Aldin
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Today we welcome Lisa for a guest post! So great to have you here Lisa. Tell us:Have you ever had a crush that was unrequited? What did you do? Did it turn out in your favor?
Oh, the unrequited crush. Those are horrible, aren’t they? I’ve had a few. Yep. I pined after a guy my sophomore year in college for a bit. I let myself pine, even though I knew he had a girlfriend back home, a girlfriend he was very happy with. I wasn’t about to mess with that! But I let myself be sad, a little depressed, felt a bit sorry for myself. I grieved, you could say, while still quietly and secretly admiring him. And it was fun to admire him. It was fun to imagine our story, that we even had a story, but I never acted on anything. I couldn’t.
And then, when it became clear I had to move on, I did so. Whenever I found myself in familiar pining territory, I’d snap out of it, turn the other away, find something fun to do with a friend, flirted with other guys. Over time, this became easier and easier. When I transferred schools (not because of him), I didn’t see him anymore. And then that pining was over, which opened me up for other crushes. Distance can cure many things!
In the end, it all worked out. I met the man I would marry a year later. I learned a lot from all that pining though. It’s okay to do that. It’s okay to gracefully grieve and sulk and be upset about things that don’t go your way. However, I put a time limit on that nonsense because life’s too short to sink too deep into that. The best crushes are the ones that aren’t unrequited at all…=)
Thanks so much for being here today, Lisa!
One month later, I’m sitting in a brightly lit classroom at the Winston Academy for Girls. My dad used to joke that the day I wore a skirt would be the day the zombie apocalypse rolled into town. Two hours in and I have yet to see a zombie, but I do feel like the living dead. Someone bathed in raspberry perfume this morning, causing a war to rage inside my nostrils. I might fall to the floor and convulse, the smell’s that thick.
Maybe it’s not the perfume. Maybe I’m allergic to all this estrogen.
“You okay?” the girl next to me whispers.
I respond by covering my mouth and sneezing so hard that a giant wad of snot lands in the palm of my hand. Carefully, I move my hand under the desk and smile.
“Fine,” I reply. “Just tired.”
The girl chews on a strand of her honey-colored hair as she attempts to write down every word of the lecture. A leather day planner rests at the edge of her desk, a name embroidered in pink curly letters at the bottom: Emma Elizabeth Swanson.
I’m definitely not in public school anymore.
Our Business Mathematics teacher pity-smiles at me from behind her glasses and dives into a discussion about supply and demand. I continue to wonder what I should do with the snot on my palm. If I were sitting beside one of the guys at Burlington High, like I should be this year, the snot wouldn’t be an issue. I would wipe it on Cowboy, the least likely of the group to retaliate, and laugh.
But what would a “lady” do?
Here at Winston, boys feel as mythical and mysterious as unicorns. There’s no sign of them anywhere. No obnoxious belches. No stupid high- fives. No talk of monster hunting. It’s unsettling, like I’m walking among a race of polite aliens wearing plaid jumpers and lip gloss.
How am I supposed to survive a year on another planet?